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Open House: Secrets for Moving In

One of CasaSugar's closest confidants is moving into a new studio this weekend that is a completely blank canvas. She's got only a bag of clothes and an even bigger suitcase full of shoes to move in, and aside from ordering a green mattress, she has no idea where to start. So, for this weekend's Open House, I want to hear your best ideas on getting settled in an empty pad.

What furniture do you find essential? What types of storage containers, hangers, etc. do you keep in your closet? When choosing your wall colors, where do you start? What appliances and electronics (iron, coffee pot, etc.) can you not live without? How do you get acquainted with your neighbors? What cleaning supplies are must-haves for moving into a rental, and what cleaning tips can you offer? What items make you feel at home? You get the idea. The more creative and obscure the tips, methods or products, the better; just leave your ideas in the comments section below. Then next week, I'll compile our CasaSugar list of secrets for moving in. Let the open house begin!


Join The Conversation
littlemiss74 littlemiss74 9 years
Use a ton of method products! They have something for everything and your place will smell great!
krazykarot krazykarot 9 years
if that picture is where she is moving into I am ridiculously jealous. I would LOVE that bathroom. possibly more than life itself. My first cue for choosing colors is probably the style of the home. ie- my apartment is all hardwood floors with beautiful dark wood accents throughout. IF my landlord (who is way lame) would let me paint, I would definitely go for slightly darker/richer, more saturated colors. Green is my personal favorite color, but I also like the spectrum of red-ish colors as well. kitchens always work well with a little bit of kitche in them, I have a lot of throw back appliances in bright cherry red. Just make sure everything is practical. ;)
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
These posts are too dang long, yall. The bathroom is this pic rocks, btw.
ella1978 ella1978 9 years
I love a clean canvas! The first bit of advice I have is very Virgo of me & I'm not even a Virgo! Make sure that everything has a place before you put it away. If you need a certain amount of storage, or certain kind of storage, buy it before you put something in a temporary place. I try to avoid the whole "I'll put this here for now...." syndrome. Secondly. Make sure everything is as clean as you want it first. Paint colors!!! yay, one of my favorites. I like to stick to earthy, warm, or calming colors & palettes. It really starts with your favorite colors & what room you are in. I like to make bathrooms and bedrooms calming... think "resort hotel room". Use blues, greens, creams, chocolate browns, beiges, tans for colors.. nothing too bright. Look into crisp linens, great baskets made of bamboo or wicker to organize things (like a basket full of fresh towels for guests to use.... it's functional & a great decorative piece) I try to make kitchens feel bigger, lighter brighter colors, place to have fun. If your cabinets are dark.. you can go with a couple great palettes - silver, lavender and aqua, or eggplant and cream (two of my favorites) If your cabinets are lighter, you can go with yellows, oranges (burnt orange colors) something saturated to make your cabinets stick out (a lot has to do with your countertops as well). In living spaces I like earth tones, browns, blues, beiges, all kinds of greens, creams, shades of red and orange. My best advice is hit the hardware store. Have palettes in mind & pick up all the paint color cards that you can! Then cut them apart and try to make a board of compatible colors. For instance if your living dining & kitchen all run together, you want all of those colors to blend and mesh well. Have an underlying set of colors that you want to carry thru all rooms (maybe in trim and in details or decor) and pick those first, then pick paint colors for each room that play off that and each other. For instance I decided that I didn't want white trim, so I picked a great cottage white, sort of cream color & I loved this wine color for the accents/details w/ brown for my fireplace surround, so then I picked colors for the walls. I knew that I wanted green for the living and dining & yellow for the kitchen, so I found the best colors to match my accent and trim colors..... Okay, so if I haven't confused or lost you so far... organization. We turned our third bedroom into a closet. New closet system, plenty of shelving, storage, bins & laundry sorters. It was the best idea ever! You have to make sure you have enough storage. If storage in your bathroom is tight, look into over the toilet storage or maybe some mix and match storage containers (cubes from target or west elm, etc are great for that). Make sure they have doors, it makes everything LOOK cleaner. In closets, if you have lots of things that don't go on hangers, you can always add a SECOND shelf above the normal shelf to facilitate more boxes, or folded clothing. In the kitchen, movable butcher blocks/carts are great for storing things that don't fit anywhere else. Also, you can always store extra dishes in the dining room (invest in a great looking server/buffet). I've confused myself, but there are some ideas for now. Best of luck! I love the planning phase!
tundrababe tundrababe 9 years
Wow, is that the actual place? Tell me that's not the living room!
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
Before I start moving in, I do a complete walk through! This important! Look for bad paint jobs, missing items, scuffs and marks. Also, I take a good look at kitchen and bathroom. These are the most used places so they're usually the places that have something wrong. Don't forget to check fixtures for any damage! The first thing I do when unpacking the truck is to put boxes of things where they belong (kitchen stuff in kitchen). Once everything is moved in, I unpack my cat. I get his litterbox and food into place then take him out of his carrier and show him where everything is. I also give him a hiding place because new places can be scary! :meow: Then, I set up my bed and important things in the bathroom. This way, if I decide to not unpack anything else, I can at least sleep and shower. Usually, I don't have to do any cleaning because it's been done by previous owners and the apartment complex. I then install my air freshener plugs (I love Method). That way, it can start smelling like my home. Then, I choose a room and start unpacking. I do it at a leisurely pace. I take time to reminesce about the things that I have, how I got them, and where they should go in my new place. In terms of storage, I have an obsession with baskets and decorative boxes. So, there's always some kind of organization to every nook and cranny. I have boxes/baskets in every available space. Not to mention, if you find the right stores, its organization for pretty cheap. When you live in a small space, you have to be organized! If there's clutter anywhere, the walls start closing in on you. I've never understood the deal with hangars. I use inexpensive plastic ones. I've learned ways of hanging clothes so that they don't get shoulder marks and other strange wrinkles Because I live in an apartment, I wont even touch the walls with paint. It's not worth it to have to repaint when you leave. Don't try to decorate all at once. Spend some time in your space (be one with your home :)). If you have friends/family that sew/paint/craft have them make something for your new place. It will make it very personal. Not to mention, save you money! For instance, buying throw pillows can cost you $10 or more! But, you can find a nice fabric and stuffing for very little. I haven't made friends with my neighbors so I don't have any tips there.
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 9 years
To get acquainted with neighbors--at least if you live in a small enough building, or a single-family-dwelling--then I think gifts work well. The norm is cooking baked goodies which I think is nice, but I think that you should save this for if you happen to be really talented in baking. But if your talents lie elsewhere, I think it's good to use what you're good at to create a one of a kind gift. That way it's much more meaningful and the neighbors get a glimpse of who you really are. For example, when I moved into my 3 unit place in June, I gave my two neighbors matted and framed prints of the large artwork I made of our house in oil pastels. It worked great! :-D
blondewithbangs blondewithbangs 9 years
im in a NEUTRAL rut! help! I moved to a new state and bought all new stuff. Unfortunately i though if i went nuetral i would have an easier time pairing things or matching what i DID bring. Now i have tan walls, carpet, sofa and rugs. My wood frames, tables, and deak are all dark wood. EVERYTHING IS BROWN! I have a horrible color phobia...ugh.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I agree with everyone on not decorating and painting right away. Set up a comfy place to sleep or hang out and then let the rest come naturally. If you have some money start buying a few things at a time but really visualize what you want your space to look like before you buy and keep that in mind. You may find that the style you really like is nothing like any style you've ever had before. A blank canvas is a great place to start over fresh and make the space completely yours.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i would say to not buy everything all at once. live with the space for a while and see what you might actually need. also, take a lot of measurements and maybe some digital pictures of the space when empty to take to the store with you so you can visualize the new items in the room. maybe start by doing one room at a time and clean afterwards so that when you are working on other rooms you have a clean, already done room to retreat to. the number one appliance i would buy initially would be a toaster oven/convection oven combo for the counter. especially if you are cooking for one person (and even if you're not) - you can cook a surprising amount of stuff in what may seem like a small appliance.
JessNess JessNess 9 years
When I first moved into my apartment the first thing I did was set up my bed. It was a must for me to have a place all ready for me to crash on. It also was comforting because it was the first time I was living on my own and having something I know and love there for me was great Also I cleaned everything before I unpacked. I know the apartment complex cleaned things before I moved in but its comforting to know that things were cleaned to my standards
JessNess JessNess 9 years
I live in a studio right now and its interesting cause you really are lacking in space. My apartment is 17x21 feet Saying organized in a small space is key so find cute storage. In my studio I have the smallest counter top known to man. It is a 2x1 feet tiny piece of laminate top in my kitchen. The best thing I ever did was buy a kitchen island on wheels. It stores all of my extra pots and pans, bowls, oven mits etc. I have a small walk in closet off of my living room so I just roll my island in there and roll it out when I need it. I also suggest getting a couch that folds out into a bed. Its a life saver when you have guests. Also you will want some privacy for your sleeping area. If you are not lucky like me to have a built-in wall/partition then you will want to get one. One of those cute Japanese ones would be great
kdupps kdupps 9 years
I'm actually getting ready to move and though I have an apartment full of furniture, I think every new place is a blank canvas. When I signed my lease, I took pictures of every room from every angle. I looked at what I had and how it was set up in the new place and how it would translate, translate being the operative word. A fabulous West Elm vase I got as a gift that has been moved because it doesn't going anywhere has been the inspiration for my kitchen, of all places! I think finding a few great pieces and slowly building the place around it is ideal.
lemonfizz lemonfizz 9 years
When I moved into my current apartment the wood floors were trashed. It was a rent steal, so we figured we'd just have to get rugs. Well, I was wrong. I spent two miserable days with a straight razor and a bowl of water patiently scraping years and years of crap off those floors. The landlord was absolutely stunned when he saw them. He didn't believe me when I told him that my "magic" was water and hard work.
QueenLizzy QueenLizzy 9 years
I hate moving, so the best advice I can give it to be really organized during your packing phase. If you mark your boxes well and label them with what room they are going to you will be ahead of the game. Also, if you can afford it, have a cleaning company come in and do your place (the place you are leaving too) and saver yourself a lot of time and effort. Other than that, give it some time in a new place before painting. Kind of live with the rooms for a bit and see how you are using them, what the lighting is like at different times of the day, is the room warm or cold, etc. This will help you pick the right colors.
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